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PETER'S BLOG

Gardasoft Products and Engineering

May 2018

This blog will go out while I’m in Asia. We have some very good customers in Asia and it is always good to understand what their machines are doing and what they need from our products. It’s always much more effective to meet face to face.
We find that by fully understanding customers’ systems and requirements, we can provide the right solution, sometimes by creating a custom feature. Often our products remove or reduce the bottleneck of the time taken to inspect each product, and so allow machines to run faster.
We have just released an updated version of our Triniti Vision Utility software, and we will give you more information about this in our June newsletter.

May Newletter Topics

Peter Bhagat's Blog

PP mode for RT, TR-HT, RC

We are just about to release new firmware (v050) for the RTxxx, TR-HTxxx, RCxxx controllers. These will include a new feature called PP Mode. All these controllers have SafePower and PP Mode improves the performance of SafePower in certain circumstances.

  • We have some customers who are using switch mode for long (maybe 1 second) pulses at high current in switch mode. In some cases there can be a drop in current near the beginning of the pulse, which can be prevented using PP Mode.
  • SafePower controllers can take some time to adjust to new configurations. Using PP Mode, this can be prevented or reduced, by setting initial SafePower conditions.
  • When pulses less than 200µs are configured the controller puts a restriction on the maximum pulse frequency by adjusting the retrigger delay. PP Mode allows this restriction to be avoided.

PP Mode needs some knowledge to use. If you think you need this feature, request the Release Notes through "Ask the expert". We will talk to you about your requirements first.

We produce a Revision Document for most of the products we do. This lists the firmware and hardware versions and what changes have been made. We send this to customers when requested.

Vision Show Boston Demo

Boston Vision Show April 2018

Doug and Chris from our engineering team put together a very neat exhibition demo that we used at the Boston Vision Show in April. It shows all our main types of products: lighting control, lens control and trigger timing control.

The demo itself is a turntable with three different sizes of products on it. The requirement is to get good images of all three objects. A camera shows the acquired images on a screen.

Boston Vision Show April 2018

The CC320 trigger timing controller reads marks on the edge of the turntable to work out the position and speed. It uses this to trigger the lighting controller to pulse a light and to adjust the lens focus for each object. We use the marks on the turntable like an encoder input. There is a gap in the marks, which it uses to indicate the zero position. One of the new CC320 functions which looks for a minimum pulse time detects the gap in the marks.

Some of you will know Doug already as he handles a lot of technical support issues, including "Ask the expert" enquiries. If you’ve worked with him you’ll know he tackles every issue with enthusiasm and energy.

Again, you can request the Release Notes through the "Ask the expert" panel.

Application Notes

APP923 Troubleshooting Ethernet Problems is a very useful application note and one of the most common ones that we send. The first section describes Wireshark, which is very useful for diagnosing Ethernet communication issues.

The most common problems are a mismatch of IP addresses between a PC and a controller and Window’s firewalls sometimes blocking Ethernet packets, so those are worth looking out for.

Some customers find that TCP communications is quite slow. Windows imposes a 200ms delay which it is not possible to avoid. We have introduced improvements to the controllers’ TCP stack, which have minimised other delays.

We are always happy to help with more complex issues.

Peter Bhagat